Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) - The "Must Ask" Questions

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IT Service Management Professionals

Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) - The "Must Ask" Questions

Posted by Steph Velte

Thu, May 24, 2012

Are you getting value out of your project and portfolio management (PPM) investment? Your company may have invested in PPM recently or maybe even several years ago. Like many companies, you might have installed a solution – like HP Project and Portfolio Management (HP PPM) Center – and implemented a few key processes at the time that were important to your IT organization. The question now is are you getting value out of that investment? Over the next week I will share seven questions you need to ask to find that answer and guide your next steps.

1)      Are the key processes that were implemented being followed consistently?

Now that you have been using your PPM solution for a while, how are the users of the solution adapting to the structure and flexibility that PPM brings? Are users getting notified at the right step in the process? Are they receiving too many notifications? Are there areas within the processes that need to be expanded, or maybe you have found that certain steps are not needed at all? 

2)      Are there other processes that your organization follows that could benefit from PPM?

Ok, you initially implemented just a couple of processes into PPM, and you have seen improvements in how the processes implemented are being followed – great! But are there now other processes that could benefit from more structure and definition? Examples of other processes that can make use of PPM are things like:

  • on-boarding and off-boarding of resources
  • collection of new demand for your organization
  • almost any process that makes use of a workflow and provides your organization with standardized processes, notifications and history of actions taken (approvals, rejection, on hold, etc.)

3)      Do you know what your resources are working on consistently?

One of the toughest items to get adoption from your staff is time tracking, because they fear that you are trying to be “Big Brother.” That is not the case at all. How can you justify additional resources to help them out if you do not have facts to back up the request for the additional resources? Time tracking also helps to identify problems that may be going unnoticed. Resources may be spending a large amount of time on a specific application performing maintenance, which could be a sign that the application has a bigger issue that needs to be addressed. How is your organization’s estimating skills? It is challenging to estimate work accurately if there is no method in place to gather historical data. Time tracking does not have to be a burdensome activity either, as PPM offers a great deal of flexibility about how to capture either detail or summary information about what resources are working on.

Check back next week when I will cover the remaining four questions:

  • Does your organization have a defined approach to evaluating new projects/ initiatives based upon corporate objectives and goals? 

  • Does your organization have challenges in getting the right resources assigned to the most critical and most impactful projects?

  • Are your projects being delivered on schedule, within budget and as expected and when do you find out about potential issues?

  • Is there an upgrade available, and if so should I upgrade? 


About the Author:

Roger Buchanan
PPM Solutions Architect, Evergreen Systems

Roger began his career at Halliburton, first as an accountant; eventually working in their IT group supporting various financial systems. Roger recently joined Evergreen Systems after a 17-year career at Accenture, of which his last 11 years were focused on HP Project and Portfolio Management-related engagements. 

Topics: HP PPM, PPM, Project Portfolio Management, Project and Portfolio Management, Demand Management, Resource Management


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